Burial in National Cemeteries
benefits in a VA national cemetery include the gravesite,
a headstone or marker, opening and closing of the grave,
and perpetual care. Many national cemeteries have columbaria
or gravesites for cremated remains.
and service members are eligible for burial in a VA national
cemetery, An eligible veteran must have been discharged
or separated from active duty under conditions other than
dishonorable and have completed the required period of
service, Persons entitled to retired pay as a result of
20 years creditable service with a reserve component are
eligible. A U.S. citizen who served in the armed forces
of a government allied with the United States in a war
also may be eligible A 1997 law bars persons convicted
of federal or state capital crimes from being buried or
memorialized in one of the VA national cemeteries or in
Arlington National Cemetery.
and minor children of eligible veterans and of service
members also may be buried in a national cemetery. Adult
children incapable of self-support due to physical or mental
disability are eligible for burial. If a surviving spouse
of an eligible veteran marries a nonveteran, and remarriage
was terminated by divorce or death of the nonveteran, the
spouse is eligible for burial in a national cemetery.
Gravesites in national cemeteries cannot be reserved. Funeral directors
or others making burial arrangements must apply at the
time of death, Reservations made under previous programs
are honored. Cemeteries do not provide military honors
but may make referrals to military units or volunteer groups.
The National Cemetery Administration normally does not
conduct burials on weekends, A weekend caller, however,
will be directed to one of three VA cemetery offices that
remain open during weekends to schedule burials at the
cemetery of the caller's choice during the following week.
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery is under the jurisdiction of the Army.
Eligibility for burials is more limited than at other national
cemeteries. For information on Arlington burials, write to
Superintendent, ArlingtonNational Cemetery, Arlington, VA 22211
or call 703-695-3250.
State Veteran Cemeteries
two active national cemeteries administered by the Department
of the Interior are AndersonvilleNational Cemetery in Georgia
and Andrew Johnson National Cemetery in Tennessee, Eligibility
for burial is similar to VA cemetery eligibility. Cemeteries
for veterans also are operated by many states. For burials
in these cemeteries, contact the cemetery or the applicable
Headstones and Markers
provides headstones and markers for the unmarked graves
of veterans anywhere in the world and of eligible dependents
of veterans buried in national, state veteran or military
post cemeteries, Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble,
upright granite and upright marble types are available
to mark the grave in a style consistent with the cemetery,
Niche markers also are available for identifying cremated
remains in columbaria. Headstones and markers are inscribed
with the name of the deceased, branch of service, and the
years of birth and death. Optional items that may be inscribed
are military grade, rank or rate; war service such as "World
War 11"; months and days of birth and death; an emblem
reflecting one's religion, and text indicating valor awards.
When burial is in a national, state veteran or military
post cemetery, the headstone or marker is offered through
the cemetery, which will place it on the grave, Information
on style, inscription and shipping can be obtained from
the cemetery, When burial occurs in a cemetery other than
a national, military post or state veterans' cemetery,
the headstone or marker must be applied for from VA. It
is shipped at government expense. VA, however, does not
pay the cost of placing the headstone or marker To apply,
complete VA Form 40-1330 and forward it to Director, Memorial
Programs Service (403A), Department of Veterans Affairs,
810 Vermont Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20420. Forms and assistance
are available at VA regional offices, For information regarding
the status of an application, write to the Director, Memorial
Programs Service (4MA), or call 1-800-697-6947, VA cannot
issue a headstone or marker for a spouse or child buried
in a private cemetery- Twenty-year reservists generally
are eligible for a headstone or grave marker.
Headstones or Markers
for Memorial Plots
memorialize an eligible veteran whose remains are not available
for burial, VA will provide a memorial headstone or marker,
The headstone or marker is the same as that used to identify
a grave except that the phrase "In Memory of" precedes
the inscription. The headstone or marker is available to
memorialize eligible veterans or deceased service members
whose remains were not recovered or identified, were buried
at sea, donated to science, or cremated and scattered.
The memorial marker also may be provided for placement
in a cemetery other than a national cemetery, In such cases,
VA supplies the marker and pays the cost of shipping, but
does not pay for the plot or the placement of the marker.
Presidential Memorial Certificates express the nation's recognition
of veterans' service. Certificates bearing the signature
of the President are issued honoring deceased veterans
with honorable discharges. Eligible recipients include
next of kin and other loved ones. The award of a certificate
to one eligible recipient does not preclude certificates
to other eligible recipients- The veteran may have died
at any time in the past. Requests for a certificate must
be accompanied by a copy of a document such as a discharge
to establish honorable service. VA regional offices can
assist in applying for certificates.
provides an American flag to drape the casket of a veteran
or a reservist entitled to retired military pay. After
the funeral service, the flag may be given to the next
of kin or a close associate. Flags are issued at VA regional
offices and national cemeteries, and post offices.
Reimbursement of Burial
will pay a burial allowance up to $1,500 if the veteran's
death is service-connected. In some instances, VA also
will pay the cost of transporting the remains of a service
disabled veteran to the national cemetery nearest the home
of the deceased that has available gravesites. In such
cases, the person who bore the veteran's burial expenses
may claim reimbursement from VA. VA will pay a $300 burial
and funeral expense allowance for veterans who, at time
of death, were entitled to receive pension or compensation
or would have been entitled to compensation but for receipt
of military retirement pay. Eligibility also may be established
when death occurs in a VA facility, a nursing home under
VA contract or a state nursing home. Additional costs of
transportation of the remains may be paid, There is no
time limit for filing reimbursement claims of service-connected
deaths. In other deaths, claims must be filed within two
years after permanent burial or cremation. VA will pay
a $160 plot allowance when a veteran is not buried in a
cemetery that is under US. government jurisdiction under
the following circumstances: the veteran was discharged
from active duty because of disability incurred or aggravated
in the line of duty-, the veteran was in receipt of compensation
or pension or would have been except for receiving military
retired pay; or the veteran died in a VA facility. The
$150 plot allowance may be paid to the state if a veteran
is buried without charge for the cost of a plot or interment
in a state-owned cemetery reserved solely for veteran burials-
Burial expenses paid by the deceased's employer or a state
agency will not be reimbursed, For information on monetary
benefits, call 1-800-827-1000.
Contacting the Veteran
Depending on their circumstances, military veterans and their dependents
are entitled to a variety of benefits beyond these burial
benefits. Contact should be made to the Veterans Affairs
Office to determine what benefits can be claimed and then
gather the information required.
National Toll-free Number for the Veterans Affairs Office
What is new about Military
Funeral Honors have always been provided whenever possible.
However, the law now mandates the rendering of Military
Funeral Honors for an eligible veteran if requested by
the family. As provided by law, an honor guard detail for
the burial of on eligible veteran shall consist of not
less than two members of the Armed Forces. One member of
the detail shall be a representative of the parent Service
of the deceased veteran. The honor detail will, at a minimum,
perform a ceremony that includes the folding and presenting
of the American flag to the next of kin and the playing
of Taps, Taps will be played by a bugler, if available,
ar by electronic recording. Today, there are so few buglers
available that the Military Services often cannot provide
Who is eligible for Military
Military members on active duty or in the Selected Reserve
Former military members who served on active duty and departed
under conditions other than dishonorable.
Former military members who completed at least one term of enlistment
or period of initial obligated service in the Selected
Reserve and departed under conditions other than dishonorable
Former military members discharged from the Selected Reserve due
to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line
clarification on eligibility is available in United States
Who is not eligible for
Military Funeral Honors?
person separated from the Armed Forces under dishonorable
conditions or whose character of service results in
a bar to veteran's benefits.
person who was ordered to report to an induction station,
but was not actually inducted into military service.
person discharged from the Selected Reserve prior to
completing vile term of enlistment or period of initial
obligated service for reasons other than a disability
incurred or aggravated in the line of duty
person convicted of a Federal or State capital crime
sentenced to death or life imprisonment or in flight
to avoid prosecution.
How much does a Military
Funeral Honors detail cost?
Funeral Honors are provided by the Department of Defense
at no cost to the family.
What can the family of
an eligible veteran expect?
rare elements of the funeral honors ceremony, which will
be conducted on request, include;
- Playing of Taps
veteran's parent Service representative will present the
Who is eligible for a
Veterans Administration establishes eligibility. Funeral
directors can assist families in obtaining a flag, More
information is available at:
How does a family request
a grave marker?
questions about grave markers, family members can write
to the VA at:
Programs Service (403)
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Ave , NW
Washington, DC 2042Q
information available at:
How much notice should
be provided for the honors request?
Services requests at least 48 hours in order to organize
the funeral honors detail.
To whom can the family
write to express comments or concerns about the Military
Funeral Honors program?
may write to,
9504 IM-35 North, Suite 320
Son Antonio, TX 78233-6635